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Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Posted by roselee 8 SW Texas (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 20, 10 at 11:45

I guess it's a long shot to hope for more pictures of butterflies on Arroya sweet wood, but wanted to introduce anyone who lives in the south to this great little tree originally from Mexico that was catalogued in the late 80s. The flowers are very fragrant. They scent the whole yard and the bees are all over them, but oddly enough the only butterflies I've seen using it are Pipevine swallowtails. They love it.

Flowers ....

It's very easy to start from seed and will grow in very alkaline rocky soil such as that found in arroyos; the Spanish word for gulleys.

"A highly ornamental, small, leguminous tree, it bears small, deliciously scented, white, pea-like flowers in clusters of 10 or more. Both the flowers & wood are strongly vanilla-cinnamon scented. Developing quickly to 10’-20’ tall & wide, it usually has a multi-trunked form. The light green compound leaves turn gold in the Fall & are deciduous. Hardy to 15F? Average soil."



Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Sounds wonderful! If it was hardy here, I would find a spot in my yard for one. I love fragrant flowers - and Pipevine Swallowtails.


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Roselee,

I'm glad you posted on this plant. I'm considering buy 2 at our Master Gardener Plant Sale. I wonder if you can tell me the distance you can smell the fragrance? How far would you plant it from a covered deck.

I just hope this note gets to you.
Xtal


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

When blooming the scent is not overpowering, but wafts nicely. Of course, it depends on the weather conditions, but I'd say it's easy to pick up the scent from 50 ft. away or more. When not in bloom there is also a light scent from the foliage during a misting rain. Anytime at all you can scratch the bark or pick a few leaves and enjoy the scent from those sources. I sent some seeds to one person and he said after soaking even the seeds smelled like cinnamon.

It's a very graceful tree with far reaching boughs so I'd plant it a little ways from the deck as some of the limbs might want to lean on the roof although you could cut those away. It wants to be multi trunked, but of course you could control that also. I've let all the trunks stay, but had to prop up one trunk on both of my trees with a large boulder. By the way, I have a tree in the front yard along the street and another near the back property line. They are about 20 years old.

After it flowers it produces beautiful lime green seed pods. The bright color persists until August. The seed pods are not large so are not unsightly even when they turn brown. You will have lots of seedlings come up from the beans, but they are easy to pull.

The tree is very drought tolerant when established. The only water the street side tree gets is from a small slice of lawn next door.

A friend of mine blogged about my garden. It's linked below. Scroll down a ways and you will see the tree in the front with it's leaning trunk. You can barely see the big rock supporting it.

I hope you enjoy your trees as much as I've enjoyed mine. One more thing; they don't do well in acid sandy soil. A friend tried growing them in Seguin and they lanquished. Ordinarily they are fast growing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rock-Oak-Deer blog ...


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Roselee,
Did you purposely plant the tree at that angle? Roses bloom better on horizontal stems. Does it seem to make a difference in your tree?

Love it's blooms and the butterflies it attracts.
Xtal


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

No, not on purpose. The trunk leaned under it's own weight after one of those monsoon rains San Antonio sometimes gets. The ground softens and the water on the leaves weights the limbs. Sometimes our horizonal limbed live oaks come right out of the ground when it rains like that. The leaning trunk could have easily be cut off and the remaining two upright trunks left, but I liked how it gave some privacy from the street so we left it. We just propped it up enough so it wouldn't lay on the ground. The upright portions of the tree bloom beautifully.


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Thanks for sharing. I love the added character. I might try that... intentionally.
Any idea whether it blooms more because of the horizontal branches?

Xtal


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Roselee,

Pleased to tell you that I just bought my two saplings. Now, it's a matter of how close I can plant them to my soon-to-be deck. They'll go down first.

Any suggestions??

Xtal


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Roselee,

Pleased to tell you that I just bought my two saplings. Now, it's a matter of how close I can plant them to my soon-to-be deck. They'll go down first.

Any suggestions??

Xtal


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Just a follow up Roselee. Of the 3 that I had planted, they range from 3' to 6'7". It makes a difference if they get watered, but the good news is that they live regardless whether they receive less water. I'm anxious to grow some more. All your tips and advice has been very helpful.

The bonus is their drawing the Pipevine Swallowtail. It looks like my new yard will be a dedicated butterfly habitat.

I hope you don't mind my posting your interview on CTG. Though it doesn't cover this tree, it does highlight your yard and your thoughts. Thanks for all your feedback. I'm eager to get some seeds going.

Much appreciated!
Xtal

Here is a link that might be useful: Roselee's yard as featured on Central Texas Gardener


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Just a follow up Roselee. Of the 3 that I had planted, they range from 3' to 6'7". It makes a difference if they get watered, but the good news is that they live regardless whether they receive less water. I'm anxious to grow some more. All your tips and advice has been very helpful.

The bonus is their drawing the Pipevine Swallowtail. It looks like my new yard will be a dedicated butterfly habitat.

I hope you don't mind my posting your interview on CTG. Though it doesn't cover this tree, it does highlight your yard and your thoughts. Thanks for all your feedback. I'm eager to get some seeds going.

Much appreciated!
Xtal

Here is a link that might be useful: Roselee's yard as featured on Central Texas Gardener


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RE: Butterflies on ... Arroyo Sweetwood, Myrospermum sousanum

Of course I don't mind that you posted a link to the video of my yard. But I doubt if many are reading this far down, but if they do I hope they consider it a personal visit with me showing them the garden. it was filmed last October.

The only thing is that it doesn't look much like that anymore. In view of the continuing severe drought in Texas I decided to almost totally redo it by taking out thirsty plants and planting agaves, succulents and ornamental grasses, etc.. Below is a friend's blog about the makeover which is still very much in progress.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rock-Oak-Deer blog ...

This post was edited by roselee on Mon, Aug 26, 13 at 23:20


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